Manchester City will aim to ‘create an environment’ and take on plenty of sleep in order to win the FIFA Club World Cup later this week, manager Pep Guardiola has revealed.
The reigning UEFA Champions League winners cruised to a place in the showpiece final on Friday evening, having defeated Japanese side Urawa Red Diamonds in Jeddah on Tuesday courtesy of goals either side of the half-time interval.
An own goal forced through the efforts of Matheus Nunes on the stroke of half-time was followed up by an effort from Mateo Kovacic, before a deflected effort from Bernardo Silva would round off the scoring later on in the contest.
Fluminense – who defeated Egyptian club Al Ahly in their semi-final – are Manchester City’s opponents for the 2023 FIFA Club World Cup, as the two sides gear up to clash in Saudi Arabia on Friday.
Speaking to the media after Manchester City’s semi-final victory over Urawa Red Diamonds on Tuesday evening, Pep Guardiola detailed his plans to bring a fifth and final success of silverware back to the Etihad Stadium in 2023.
“The plan is to sleep, sleep and sleep! This is our plan,” the Catalan coach revealed when asked how he intends on preparing his Manchester City squad for the challenge of Brazilian giants Fluminense on Friday evening.
“Now we have to rest. They (Fluminense) had one more day,” he continued, as quoted by ManCity.com. “We will have a day off, have dinner together and create an environment that the players know how important it is for the Club.
“To be in this final you have to do incredible things like win the Champions League. This may be the only time we play this in our lifetime. We are there. Tomorrow we start to watch Fluminense and see them and try to do a good performance.”
The meeting with Fluminense will be Manchester City’s final outing outside of Premier League action, before returning to their duties in the English top-flight with an away trip to Goodison Park against Everton after Christmas.
City coaching staff and the medical department will be working towards key returns of three Manchester City first-team stars, with Kevin De Bruyne, Erling Haaland, and Jeremy Doku all playing no part in the ongoing FIFA Club World Cup.
The former has made a return to first-team training after undergoing surgery on a hamstring problem last summer, but is hopeful of a return to competitive duties shortly after the turn of the year.
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